102

Where does the image come from?
How do I change my profile picture, or avatar?
How do I change my profile picture on all SE sites at once?
How can I use different avatars on different SE sites?
How do avatars work?
How do the SE sites know when I changed my Gravatar?
Why do SE sites show a different Gravatar identicon than other sites where I use the same email address?
How can I use a Gravatar image after logging in to facebook.stackoverflow.com?
I changed my picture but am still seeing the old one

See also:

How is the default user avatar generated?
Why isn't my Gravatar image updating?

Return to FAQ index

73

Where does the image come from?

There a three possible ways your picture/avatar is created:

  1. It might be tied to Gravatar — for "globally recognized avatar" — linked to your email address if known (and possibly salted if you do not have a Gravatar account) or to your last known IP address otherwise.
  2. When using your Facebook account to log in, the image is pulled from your Facebook profile picture, and also used on the regular stackoverflow.com website and on flairs. (In this case, your profile picture is served from Facebook, so users who are in environments where Facebook is blocked or have it blocked through an extension or browser tracking protection features won't be able to see your avatar.)
  3. In January 2013, the Stack Exchange team introduced "direct" avatar uploads where the image is uploaded to the Stack Exchange imgur server.

How do I change my profile picture, or avatar?

For Stack Exchange:

  1. Navigate to your profile (click on your username at the top of the page)
  2. Go to the "Edit Profile & Settings" tab, and there will be "Change picture" link in the bottom of your existing avatar.
  3. Click on "Change picture" and a box will pop up giving you the option to choose between Gravatar, Identicon, your last uploaded picture, or uploading a new picture.
  4. Click Save changes just for this community to save the new avatar only for that specific site, or Save and copy changes to all Stack Exchange communities to save the new avatar to all sites you have account on. (Note: this will also override your whole information on all sites, e.g. About Me, email etc.).
  5. Images get updated quite quickly - you may need to clear your cache.

For Gravatar:

  1. Go to Gravatar.com
  2. Create a profile and upload a picture.
  3. If you're not yet using the same email address on Stack Exchange, then navigate to your profile (click on your username at the top of the page), and add it.
  4. If you're not yet using the picture from Gravatar, then you might need to click "Change picture" on your profile and select the Gravatar image to start using it. (This option is only available if you have a Gravatar account.)
  5. Wait a few hours for it to propagate.
  6. You might need to clear your cache to have the new image requested.

For Facebook, changes to your profile picture are reflected on these sites automatically (as they are served from Facebook), but if you've changed your avatar using one of the above options in the past, you won't be able to use your Facebook avatar again.

How do I change my profile picture on all SE sites at once?

If you are changing using Gravatar, it will be updated in all sites where your e-mail address is same as Gravatar.

If you are changing using Stack Exchange see above. (There is no way to make a network-wide image change using a direct upload without also making your other details the same network-wide.)

How can I use different avatars on different SE sites?

  1. Associate your Stack Exchange site profiles.
  2. Change your e-mail address on the sites for which you want a different avatar.
  3. Follow the steps in How do I change my profile picture, or avatar? (above) for the new address.

Special note for Area 51

As Area 51 is based on a 2011 fork of the Stack Exchange engine, the ability to directly upload your profile picture or get it from Facebook is not implemented there. Therefore, if you wish to change your avatar there, you must use Gravatar.

How do the SE sites know when I changed my Gravatar?

The SE sites directly serve these Gravatar images from gravatar.com, so that when it is updated on Gravatar, it will be updated immediately on the SE sites as well. You may need to clear your cache to see the changes, though.

According to Gravatar, your email address is hashed and used in your avatar's URL. For example, in the URL http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/6b40908a8b13c9c7eecfcb95960cc0f6?s=128&d=identicon&r=PG, the portion 6b40908a8b13c9c7eecfcb95960cc0f6 is your email's md5 hash, provided you have an email address associated with your account.

Why do SE sites show a different Gravatar identicon than other sites where I use the same email address?

If you do not have a Gravatar account, then a salt might be added when the Gravatar MD5 hash is calculated. This makes it harder to guess your email address.

I changed my picture but am still seeing the old one

See Why isn't my Gravatar image updating?

  • So I need the same email on stack as I used to sign up to gravatar? I suspect I am using my google one on stack – NibblyPig Mar 5 '10 at 11:51
  • 2
    @user144236: Yes. – Charles Stewart Mar 5 '10 at 11:54
  • 7
    When I hover over the profile pic it doesnt give me any options.. what should i do? – Pepper Sep 17 '14 at 9:28
  • Same with me, hovering over my profile picture produces no effect except the cursor changes to a hand. I want to delete my photo. – punstress Sep 25 '14 at 9:31
  • Hovering over the avatar is having no effect. – TRomano Apr 27 '16 at 11:46
  • 1
    @Tehreem bit late, but I fixed this. There was a major redesign of the profile page, changing how the whole avatar change works. – ShaWiz May 31 '16 at 10:43
  • @punstress see above comment – ShaWiz May 31 '16 at 10:43
  • @TRomano see above comment – ShaWiz May 31 '16 at 10:43
  • you rock ma bros – Tarun Nov 16 '16 at 16:38
  • 2
    There seems to have been another redesign requiring a rewrite of this answer. – Randy Cragun Nov 1 '18 at 19:14
  • Cleared cache and still no update 20 minutes later. Only want to update Network user profile info. Perhaps it takes more time to update all sites in 2019? – StackAndTier Feb 13 at 18:13

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .